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Music in Deauville: Thomas Dunford, famous lutenist of baroque music, at the Easter festival

Thomas Dunford, famous lutenist and specialist in baroque music. ©Music Deauville

With Leah Desandre mezzo soprano and the Jupiter setthe lutenist Thomas Dunford will open the easter festivalthis Saturday, April 16, 2022at 8 p.m., in the Elie de Brignac room, at Deauville (Calvados). Meet.

You are in charge of the opening of the festival, with an extremely rich programme, how did you select these different composers and their works?

In fact, this is Léa Desandre’s first recital and record project (Editor’s note mezzo soprano, companion in the city and on stage of Thomas Dunford), Amazone. We are both very much in love with nature and the planet. This theme spoke to us quite a bit. Léa and I took on the pre-selection of musicologist Yannis François, who had an incredible list of possibilities, which was the fairest on an emotional level, in terms of the variety of styles, etc.

You are at the origin in 2018 of the Jupiter ensemble, how did the idea of ​​this creation come about?

I’ve worked a lot with different baroque, French and English music groups since I was 16, I’ve met a lot of people, I’ve learned a lot with different conductors and different points of view, which has allowed to build myself. Then I wanted to put into practice certain desires on this music. As in the kitchen, we would like to try our own recipes! Succeed in empowering people rather than directing them! If each person is responsible for their line, it shows in the music and it can affect the public even more strongly.

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Do you prefer to be a soloist or to play together, or are the two actions complementary?

I think the two are complementary and at the same time they are two totally different exercises. When everyone is moving towards the same intention, but each with their own universe, there is a harmony that is created, really nice moments of osmosis. At the same time, there is a requirement and a responsibility when you are alone which is also very interesting. So I would say those are both extremely satisfying exercises.

You have been given the nickname “Eric Clapton of the Lute”. He is certainly a guitarist, but of blues/rock, do you know why?

It was on my first record and BBC Magazine, which reviews it well, gave me that nickname. It’s funny because I grew up with parents in baroque music, but also with the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix. There is still a lot of kinship between baroque music and jazz, rock, we could even qualify baroque as jazz-rock of the 17th century! Some of Vivaldi’s works pulsate. there is groove, improvisation, the universes come together a little. And I’m happy with this nickname because Eric Clapton is a hell of a musician! Jazz, pop, classical music, I finally like all these styles. John Lennon and Paul Mc Cartney, it is ultimately a direct descendant of Purcell, the English tradition of the singer who accompanied himself at the time on the lute and now on the guitar! Without Mozart, we wouldn’t have the Beatles either,

Do you compose yourself?

Yes, because I improvise a lot. I compose different things, especially for the band. Operas, musicals, these are projects to write, I just need time! To be a musician is not only to interpret, but also to create.

You must have at home an impressive collection of lute, theorbo, do you have a favorite instrument?

I started with the little Renaissance lute, with the curved neck. When I was 14, I had an archlute, version with a long neck, I particularly loved this instrument which was very beautiful. So I have at home 1 small lute, 3 very fragile archlutes, a theorbo (low archlute) and a baroque Renaissance guitar. My first archlute was in the war, so it’s not in very good condition, so I pamper it when I bring it! Léa was born with a magnificent voice, which she preserves. Me, my voice is the lute and I have to preserve it.

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You have played on the most prestigious stages, New York, London, Paris, do you have one left to conquer?

It’s true that there are mythical places, like Carnegie Hall recently, but it’s not the place, rather the encounters, the people who have meaning. The place is ultimately an image fabricated by the collective unconscious. More than a place, I would like to work with artists that I respect enormously! One of my dreams ? Paul McCartney! One of those creative geniuses who changed the course of music…

Easter Festival from April 16 to May 7, Elie de Brignac room, 32 avenue Hocquart de Turtot, reservations at CID 02 31 14 14 14, at the tourist office 02 31 14 40 00, on site 1 hour before the start of the gigs.

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